STEM Job Profile: Sociologist
The field of sociology is a major one and it is one of the fastest growing of the STEM career paths. Sociology has been growing in size and importance since it began to be studied in the early 1900’s. A degree in sociology can take you down a large variety of career paths and it is up to you to decide which one most suits and benefits you personally.
The first step towards becoming a sociologist is being accepted into a sociology major program at a university. These programs generally take about four years to complete, but universities are flexible and it’s possible to complete the program faster (or slower) depending on your learning style, financial situation and other factors that might affect your education situation.
Once you graduate from your sociology bachelor’s program there are a number of options available to you. You can decide to take further schooling and apply for a masters of sociology, or even achieve a doctorate if you decide to put in the serious dedication to the science of sociology. Many people don’t wish to take that path for a variety of reasons, and it isn’t necessary to hold a doctorate to be a sociologist.
Some of the career fields open to sociology bachelor’s graduates can include the following: human relations, development, marketing, industrial relations, or as a personal support worker (PSW). PSWs are an integral part of the community and perform a number of important functions.
PSWs can include youth support workers, whose function is to work with troubled young people in the community and reach out to those in need of support, especially youths with troubled home lives and legal issues. Community PSWs can also work with drug addicts and alcoholics in the community, helping them to find shelter, direct them to rehabilitation centres, find employment or hand out supplies such as sterile needles, clean pipes and pamphlets on addiction. Many PSWs will work with those most disadvantaged in society. It’s a difficult yet very emotionally rewarding job.
Community social workers work with those in extreme poverty as well as the homeless. They help to provide support and direct them to services that can help them such as shelters, food banks, and navigating the complex welfare and disability system. Often PSWs work with the disabled or mentally ill as well, giving support to people that have no one else. Social workers can aid these people in finding affordable housing, work, or treatment.
Community social workers can have a major benefit on the area in which they work, and they can often improve or even save people’s lives. It is not an easy job, requiring odd hours and being able to handle diverse situations. Patience and good people skills are essential for this line of work. All in all, being a community social worker can be an extremely rewarding job. Each day you work to improve people’s lives.